August 20, 2014 7:28:15 PM
The 2014 prep football season kicks off this weekend.
With heat indexes topping 100 degrees, the action will heat up with a pair of outstanding matchups -- Noxubee County at Starkville and Grenada at West Point -- right off the bat.
Here are five things we will be watching in Week One:
Tigers or Yellow Jackets
1. Will the Noxubee County passing game be ready for Starkville?
For Noxubee County to make a legitimate run at the Class 4A state championship, coach Tyrone Shorter knows the Tigers will have to throw the ball much better this season.
A year ago, Timorrius Conner played like a sophomore. This season, Conner has looked like a seasoned veteran in fall camp.
When facing the Starkville defensive line, it will be the biggest challenge of the season for Noxubee County. Win or lose, we will learn a lot about the Tigers.
Chargers or Green Wave
2. Has the West Point defense regained its usual form?
Last season, West Point allowed 33.8 points per game. The Green Wave had a difficult time slowing down any legitimate passing attack.
Grenada was one of the bigger surprises in Class 6A last season with a 9-3 record.
One game will not tell the story about the West Point defense. However, the squad gave up 55 in last season's opener. So at least we will know more.
Volunteers or Raiders
3. Will Starkville Academy return to the elite?
Once again, one should not read too much into Starkville Academy's season opener with powerhouse Lamar School.
However, the Volunteers have talked about swagger, leadership and playing with a purpose.
We will see if those are on display Friday night.
Eagles or other Eagles
4. Which area 8-man team can win its opener?
Victory Christian has its sights set on winning the Alabama Christian Football Association championship this season.
Last year, the Eagles fell one game shy of that title.
Meanwhile, Hebron Christian turned some heads by winning eight games and advancing to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools playoffs.
Only one will open with a win Friday.
Raiders or Hawks
5. How will Coach Tony Stanford fare in his Oak Hill Academy debut?
Oak Hill Academy returns almost all of skilled position players, as the Raiders look to make a third straight appearance in the MAIS playoffs.
Stanford comes to Oak Hill Academy from Columbus and should feel right at home.
4. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS